Uber and Flywheel Riding Toward a New Partnership

Flywheel Technologies and Uber are putting the final touches on a partnership agreement to fully transform transportation in San Francisco.

While the cooperation is similar to an agreement Uber penned with taxi companies in New York City, it is a noteworthy shift from years of ferocious battling between the two transportation groups. Uber, which is headquartered in San Francisco, was once sued by a local taxi company in federal court for rapacious pricing schemes. Some taxi drivers have expressed concern that the partnership would mean lower earnings and make it harder for taxi riders to afford a drive. Uber and other companies that rely on gig workers (i.e. Lyft and DoorDash) supported California’s Proposition 22. The bill gave the workers limited benefits but also made it impossible for them to be considered full employees of these companies. The measure passed in 2020, even though most voters opposed it; a judge dismissed it in 2021. This partnership expands Uber’s driver pool substantially. The app’s driver base shrunk rapidly during the height of the pandemic, and many drivers voiced discontent with their low earnings. Rising gas prices have also pushed many drivers away. According to the Municipal Transportation Agency, taxi drivers will benefit too, by leveraging Uber’s ridership toward the city’s taxis.

The agreement, part of Uber’s long-term strategy to increase taxi representation on its app, will allow Uber passengers in San Francisco to hail a cab virtually. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors still has to approve the pilot, and Jeffrey Tumlin, the city’s director of transportation needs to authorize it, but the partnership is slated to begin as early as May 2022.

US-Foreign Relations: A Snippet of 3 Regions

US-foreign relations are continually in flux as different regions change expectations and US policy is subject to change. Here, we take a look at three different regions today and how American relations with those nations are faring:  Portugal, Malaysia and Canada.

New Bedford and the South Coast have been hosting excellent Portuguese-US relations as of late.  In recognition of this, various companies were nominated for the Portuguese-American Business Recognition Awards and later this month will appear for an honor on Good Morning, SouthCoast Breakfast.  These are:

Antonio’s Restaurant, Azores Airlines/SATA, Castelo Group, Club Madeirense S.S.Sacramento, DeMello International Center, DeMello’s Furniture, Fernandes Masonry, Hair In Motion, Horacios Inc., Luso-American Financial, Luzo Auto, No Problemo, Places to Go Transportation, Sagres Vacations and WJFD 97.3.

Malaysia’s US relations could have been described as strained since the May elections.  With Mahathir Mahamad’s visit to the US at the end of September, that might now be changing.  Mahathir doesn’t have the best track record with American relations sinceduring his tenure back in the 1980s, “U.S.-Malaysia relations were especially fraught with tensions over a range of issues even as aspects of cooperation continued at the working level, including on the defense side.”  Things improved thereafter, especially over the last ten years when Najib Razak was in power.  Now Mahathir has come back, the situation is once again a cause of concern.  But this visit could help and it should be remembered that it is unlikely Mahathir will remain in power for long since there is talk of Anwar Ibrahim taking over soon.

Even though tensions have been escalating between Canada and America’s governments, Justin Trudeau insisted the “relationship [between the two regions] will endure.”

The Canada-U.S. relationship will endure despite any possible friction between the two governments, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he faces a looming deadline in trade talks:

“The relationship between Canada and the United States is far deeper than between the Canadian government and the U.S. administration. There will be moments where there is better alignment or worse alignment between our two governments, and the relationship will just continue to create, frankly, prosperity and opportunity and security for our citizens.”